Category Archives: oak

homemade gifts nature play oak

wee acorn cap baskets

 Hi all! We have been enjoying some lovely Ohio Spring days lately!  The little ladies have been busy making little acorn cap baskets from dirt, moss, pliable sticks and cat mint. No glue was used, just nature.

 

They sculpted little tiny white eggs from clay to put in the baskets-

 Araina brought her wee folk outside and set up a little picnic, including a hosta leaf umbrella to protect Mama Oak from the sun.

 I think these little baskets are the cutest and want to put them on my bookshelves and in our terrariums!

Happy Spring!
“That’s all,”
  Lisa

oak tree

tree body statues

This is the time of year when we really notice the shapes of the trees. The deciduous trees are really showing off their “bone structure,” seeing the tree’s silhouette against a blue spring sky or seeing the darkness of the wet bark after a spring rain contrasting with the new chartreuse colors of early leaves…..so pretty! 

We did a little activity today called Tree Body Sculptures, suggested by my sis Katrina who needed some pics of this activity for her arboretum brochure, we went outside and observed the trees first-

Then moved our bodies in different ways to mimic the shapes of different branches.

Becoming part of the scarlet maple-

Mimicking the ash- love the curve of the foreground limb-

Pin oak sweeps downward-

Another ash tree, need 2 bodies to mimic the upward reach of limbs; fingers spread apart as small twigs at the tips-

 Mimic the magnolia piggy back style-

And Fauna found a way to mimic a tree using her shadow-

 Now to sketch the silhouettes in our nature journals and I feel so inspired to make a tree out of felt right now! Happy Spring!

activities games homemade gifts leaves nature nature play oak tree

odd leaf out (card game using pressed leaves)

We have been collecting and pressing Autumn leaves all season, we just can’t resist those pretty colors!  Part of our nature study is learning the names of the trees, especially the ones in our yard (I quiz my little ladies, husband and sisters all the time, poor things). I came up with a card deck to help the little ladies learn and identify the leaves in a fun way.   

leaves

The first thing to do is go for a hike in your yard or local park and collect 2 leaves from each different kind of tree you find (preferably taken from the ground not off the tree); you also need only one leaf from one special tree. Press the leaves for at least 24 hours, this makes gluing down the leaves easier. We picked leaves from 12 different trees, 2 from 11 trees and a single leaf from one tree.  We have a 23 card deck so far, but we plan to build on this.

What you need:
pressed leaves (at least 24 hours of pressing)- you need 2 of each leaf, and one single leaf like no other
manila paper, construction paper, or cardstock
glue
marker
a laminator or contact paper

go fish style

Glue on the leaf and label it. I wish I would have had the little ladies include the Latin names, that’s good to know too; actually we will go back with a Sharpie and do this after they know the common names! 
*You might want to add another thickness to the back of the card if using manila or construction paper; after putting the card through the laminator you can see a leaf print on the back. I don’t mind this because I like how it makes the girls recognize the shape of the leaf, not just the color.

label card

 Let the glue dry before placing in the laminator. I got a little impatient at first and put some of the cards in with wet glue, it smeared  the glue and discolored some of the leaves. The leaves I was more patient with and allowed to dry overnight, came out perfectly.

laminate

Cut around the cards and they are ready for play. I also punched holes and keep the cards on a book ring to keep them together when not in use.

buckeye leaf leaf card

  The 2 games we play with these cards are like Old Maid and Go Fish:

1. Odd Leaf Out- pass out the entire deck of cards, pull out the matches, take turns taking a card from each others’ deck looking for a match. The first person to match her whole deck wins, unless she has the odd leaf, in which case she will lose.  ;(

tree leaf game old maid style

2. Go Fish style (my favorite); however you don’t fish unless you have a huge deck of leaf cards. Pick a person, ask for a leaf, if no match it’s the next person’s turn. Once again you win if you match your whole deck, but lose if you have the odd leaf. I really like this one because the little ladies are calling out the leaves’ names looking for matches.

I’m sure there are other games to play with these cards. Of course you could play Memory, but remember to take out the odd leaf.    These would be great to take on a hike to ID trees as well or do a scavenger hunt with them! I want to do an herbal deck too, but that will have to wait until next summer. Ooooh, and a flower deck full of pressed flowers would be pretty! The possibilties are endless! Enjoy!

herb herbs homemade gifts jewlery lavender oak seeds Uncategorized

Acorn Jewlery

One of the most beautiful finds in nature, to me, is the acorn. Acorns are so whimsical with those cute little caps and the crafting possibilities are endless with them!  Don’t they make the most perfect little pocket to hold more of nature’s little treasures?

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To make a pendant you need: acorn caps (the really big Burr Oak acorn caps work great because they are so big, but any acorn cap will do), Tacky glue (school glue shrinks too much as it dries), dried and/or pressed plants and flowers, hemp cording, hand drill and eye screws (optional). To make them, fill the cap with glue and place your chosen treasure in the glue before it dries. Set it aside upright to dry for a few days.

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The glue tends to shrink as it dries and pulls the pressed flowers inside the cap a little. You could always put a little pebble into the cap before filling it with glue, then add the glue and gently place the pressed flower on top. The pendants that worked the best for us are the ones with the flower heads stuffed into the glue. Calendula, bergamot, and red clover blossoms are our favorite pendants. Stuffing the cap with lavender, feverfew and chamomile worked nicely too. We made our herb pendants scented by adding a couple drops of lavender essential oil to the flowers after the glue dried. 

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After the glue dries attach the pendant to the cording. Here, I drilled holes using a hand drill and screwed in eye screws found at any hardware store.

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Another way to attach the cording is to leave the stem on and tie the cording around it.  Dab a little glue onto the knot to enforce the hold.

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Araina’s favorite acorn pendant has a red clover inside! Enjoy!

legends oak sewing

The King of the Forest…The Great Oak!

We have twin oak trees in our front yard that my parents planted when I was 8 years old; wow, was that really 30 years ago? They were just sticks when they were planted and now they tower over our house! These beautiful trees inspire me in so many ways!

Did you know that if you wear or carry an acorn in your pocket it brings you good luck? They are symbols of immortality, protection, healing, fertility, strength, wisdom, money and longevity. Acorns placed in the window keep your home safe from harm and from being struck by lightning.


Also, did you know that if you catch a falling oak leaf you will be free from colds all winter?


Knowing this inspired me to make little acorn pendants and oak leaf hair pins for my family and friends. Doesn’t everybody need a little luck, protection and longevity in their lives?